Published on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 21:58
A lot of people have been through the Queen Mary Pub and Grille since it opened in the fall of 2009 -- on both sides of the bar -- but one of the constants has been the regular care and attention of Tara Ladewski.
Tara is moving on to a new phase of her life, and will be saying goodbye to residents and patrons Thursday evening, Aug. 2.
"In the restaurant business, an employee like Tara is one in a million," said pub proprietor Daniel Dix. "Not only did she make my job immeasurably easier but she also made coming to work more fun. I'm going to miss her terribly."
Tara worked in the pub since its opening night in September, 2009. After graduating from Ave Maria University with a degree in Literature in the spring of 2010, she stayed on, working her way up to managing the establishement, which she's done for more than a year.
In the process, she made many friends in town, and says the people are what she'll miss most when she heads up to the Chicago area where her fiancee, William Sullivan, a recent graduate of the Ave Maria School of Law, will be studying at Loyola University for a master's degree in law with a specialty in health care law. Tara, herself, plans to study nursing after she gets married next June.
Tom DiFlorio remembers all the times Tara made his entire family feel welcome. "Although I admired how she kept her cool when the place was packed, mostly I liked how she made my daughter feel whenever we came in -- greeting her with a big hug and giving her a soda in a special glass, making her feel grown up."
"It's been an incredible experience," Tara said. "I've gotten so close to so many students and Ave Maria residents and have enjoyed being part of such a great community."
Many of those residents, some of whom trusted only Tara to mix their cocktail exactly right, are not looking forward to the future without her.
"Unless Tara can guarantee me that the Margaritas and Manhattans will be as good as when she makes them," said Roy Lenardson, "then she can't leave. It's that simple."
Well-wishers can stop by the pub Thursday to say goodbye to Tara, who will be there relaxing -- and, for a change, not working -- from about 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.